## MyMathLab – MyMathLab Practice Quizzes (Monday 11/9/09)

This week at AMATYC (Saturday 11/14) I will be giving a talk on incorporating study skills into a developmental math class. In keeping with that theme, this week’s MML article will focus on using MML to help students create a practice test of their own.

Why Practice Quizzes Are Important

As many of us learned in grad school, one of the keys to performing well on an exam is being able to anticipate what types of questions you will be asked. Teaching students to create high quality practice quizzes and tests will not only help them in their current math class, it will help them in all of their future classes.

The Typical Practice Quiz Assignment

I ask students to create their own practice quiz by selecting problems in the textbook from the chapter review, chapter test, or odd problems from section exercises. Overall this is a good approach because students that create their own practice quiz will need to have an answer key to check their work, and these problems typically have answers in the back f the book. Also, this is the way that students will create practice quizzes in future classes, because their textbook is most likely their primary resource for generating problems.

Practice Quizzes – MyMathLab Style

I start by forming groups of 4 students.

I print out the listing of exercises that are available online in MML. Most books have a listing of the online exercises (broken down by chapter, section, and objective) in MML under Instructor Resources.

I have the students pick out a particular number of exercises for their practice quiz. They are told that the problems must be representative of the entire chapter, and must have a variety of difficulty levels.

The students flip through their textbook, deciding which problems to select. There is a great deal of debate and discussion within the groups, which is always a good thing.

The students bring me their list of problems, which I then use to create a practice test in MML. Each member of the group is then responsible for taking the practice quiz at home. Some students choose to also take practice quizzes from other groups.

In my opinion, this is much more effective than simply handing the students a practice quiz that I created. When a student participates in this activity, they are much more likely to benefit from the practice quiz.

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Here Is A Copy Of A Practice Quiz Assignment

Your assignment is to create a practice test for Chapter 4. You may work in a group of up to 4 people. Below you will find a listing of all exercises that you may use for sections 4.1 through 4.4. Once you have decided on your problems, give me a list of your choices. I will then create a practice test on MML based on your choices.

• must be of a fair length for an exam (15+ problems),
• should be varied (some systems using each technique, some word problems), and
• be at an appropriate level for an exam

Problems To Choose From

CHAPTER 4. SYSTEMS OF EQUATIONS

Section 4.1. Systems of Linear Equations; Solving Systems by Graphing

Determine whether an ordered pair is a solution of a system of equations:

7, 11

Identify the solution of a system of linear equations from a graph

13

Solve a system of linear equations graphically

17, 25, 27, 29

Section 4.2. Solving Systems of Equations by Using the Substitution Method

Solve systems of linear equations by using the substitution method

5, 7, 9, 17, 19, 21, 23, 25, 33, 35

Solve applied problems by using the substitution method

41, 43, 45

Section 4.3. Solving Systems of Equations by Using the Addition Method

Solve systems of equations by using the addition method

5, 7, 11, 13, 17, 19, 21, 25, 29

Solve systems of equations with fraction or decimal coefficients by using the addition method

33, 35, 37

Solve applied problems by using the addition method

41, 43, 45

Solve systems of equations by substitution or addition

55

Section 4.4. Applications of Systems of Equations

Solve applied problems involving systems of equations by using substitution or addition

5, 11, 15, 17

Solve geometry problems by using a system of equations

21, 23, 25, 27, 29

Solve interest problems by using a system of equations

31

Solve mixture problems by using a system of equations

37, 39, 41

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Summary

Students really benefit two ways from creating a practice quiz in this format. First, they learn how to create a practice quiz, which will help them now and in future classes. Second, they have several practice quizzes that they can take to help them prepare for their exam. Since the quizzes are generated using MML, they can retake the quiz as many times as they’d like, with MML randomly generating the problems each time.

Note – MyMathLab related articles appear every Monday.

I am a math instructor at College of the Sequoias in Visalia, CA. If there are topics you’d like me to address in future MyMathLab articles, send in your requests through the contact page on my web site (georgewoodbury.com). – George

• […] November I blogged about student generated practice quizzes – you can view that blog here. It’s a great way to get your students involved, and a great way to generate quality practice […]

• 2. Elizabeth Hamman  |  April 27, 2010 at 6:50 pm

I just happened to have some time to go back and read some of my saved articles tonight. How perfect this idea will be! The students in my hybrid course are supposed to be reviewing tomorrow, so I will use this activity. I am also going to give a little bit of extra credit to students who take the practice tests. Thanks!

• 3. georgewoodbury  |  April 27, 2010 at 7:05 pm

Great Elizabeth! Let me know how it goes.